PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]

Agemund 7 Agemund lawman and moneyer of Lincoln (Agemund son of Walraven), fl. 1066x1086

Male
Author: CPL
Editorial Status: 4 of 5

Discussion of the name  

Summary

           

Agemund 7 was primarily a leading burgess of Lincoln, one of the city’s twelve lawmen and a moneyer, like his father Walraven before him. He also had a middling landed estate in north Lincolnshire, scattered across nearly two dozen vills north and east of Lincoln. Altogether his manors and sokelands were assessed at around 23 carucates and worth over £16. Although he does not appear as a rural landowner in 1086 and had ceased to issue coins, he was then still among the city’s panel of lawmen.

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

          

Profile

   

Agemund appears in the numbered list of twelve men holding sake and soke in Lincoln in 1086, a group who were explicitly the successors of the twelve lawmen (lageman) of Lincoln TRE, ‘having sake and soke in the same way’ (habentes similiter sacam 7 socam). Although DB does not spell out the status as lawmen of Agemund and his eleven companions in 1086, it can hardly be doubted that they were still performing the same function of a jury for the city as their pre-Conquest predecessors. Some of them were indeed survivors from before the Normans came, while others were specifically said to be the heirs of the TRE lawmen, including Agemund ‘in place of his father Walraven’ (loco Walrauen patris sui) (Hill 1948: 38–9, 51–2).

The panels of lawmen who appear in Lincoln and some other Danelaw towns were clearly figures of substance, who must have had urban holdings and movable property which underpinned their standing as leading burgesses. The hereditary character of the office is also noteworthy: in Walraven (Walraven 6) and Agemund we are dealing with an established urban dynasty which likely owned significant property in the city of Lincoln.

Both father and son also appear as moneyers at Lincoln, Walraven only under Edward the Confessor, Agemund striking coins for Edward, Harold, and William in the issues notionally assigned to the periods 1059–62 and 1066–70. The moneyer of 1059–70 and the lawman of 1086 were clearly the same person, in whose public career there is a pointed contrast between his loss of the office of moneyer, which was dependent on royal favour, and his retention of the position of lawman, based on inherited local standing.

Both Walraven and Agemund can be confidently identified as the men of those names who held land TRE in north Lincolnshire. The key to that identification is the succession to Agemund’s manors, almost without exception, of the minor Lincolnshire baron Jocelin fitzLambert. Jocelin acquired other manors which had not belonged (so far as can be ascertained) to members of Agemund’s family, but the preponderant part of the fief came to him from Agemund and from men who can be identified as his brothers.

At Harpswell, Agemund held 2½ carucates as four manors with ‘Sigketil and another 2 brothers’. The brothers’ names are probably supplied by the entry for Redbourne, where three manors belonged TRE to Agemund, Brunhyse, and Skule, named in that order, again with Agemund in first place. The three names which appear in these entries alongside Agemund are all uncommon. Sigketil (Sigketil 2) occurs only once more in DB, again as a predecessor of Jocelin fitzLambert; Brunhyse (Brunhyse 3) nowhere else besides Redbourne; and Skule (Skule 10) otherwise only at Canwick just outside Lincoln, discussed below. Agemund, Sigketil, Brunhyse, and Skule were probably the four sons of Walraven, with Agemund the senior. Walraven was himself named as a TRE landowner only at Canwick (Lincs. 7:51; 33:2).

Agemund’s rural estates in 1066 passed in a block to Jocelin fitzLambert, a minor Norman baron who had lands only in Lincolnshire. An entry in the Lincolnshire claims discussed below shows that his father Lambert was Agemund’s immediate successor after the Conquest. The completeness of the transfer from Agemund via Lambert to Jocelin might be taken as hinting at a marriage between a sister or daughter of Agemund to either Lambert or Jocelin.

One manor escaped their control. Agemund had mortgaged his property at Middle Carlton to three burgesses of Lincoln, the first of whom was another of the Lincoln lawmen, Guthred. Middle Carlton passed after the Conquest with the rest of Guthred’s land to Northmann the fat, but, as DB recorded, Jocelin put in a claim to it as Agemund’s successor when the opportunity arose during the Domesday survey.

The other exception to succession by Jocelin fitzLambert was Agemund’s manor at Canwick. Canwick and its sister vill of Bracebridge stood immediately south-east and south of Lincoln and were closely connected with the city. Canwick included the traditional site of the city’s gallows, and in later centuries the citizens of Lincoln and the men of Canwick each had rights to use the other’s commons. Such arrangements were recorded only at a relatively late date, but may well have been of some antiquity (Hill 1948: 9, 231 note 1, 344, 354–6). It is certainly striking that in 1066 ownership of Canwick and Bracebridge was almost entirely in the hands of two families of city lawmen: 6 carucates belonged to Ulf (Lincs. 6:1; CK:18), and all but 1½ carucates of the rest was divided among three members of Agemund’s family: Walraven had two manors of 2 carucates 1½ bovates (Lincs. 7:51; 33:2), Agemund one manor of 1 carucate (Lincs. 67:26), and Skule two manors of 4½ carucates (4:80; 16:47). A further carucate, not explicitly assigned to any TRE holder, probably also belonged to Skule (Lincs. 16:48), and the remaining half carucate belonged to the nun Cwenthryth (Cwenthryth 3). It is as striking, given the regularity with which Jocelin fitzLambert succeeded to the family’s property further away from Lincoln, that none of their holdings at Canwick and Bracebridge fell into his hands, but instead were parcelled out among five different lords. This looks like a deliberate decision to break up what may have been a key family holding.

Another of Agemund’s holdings seems to illustrate a link between him and a minor Lincolnshire landowner. At Waddingham and Stainton, a single manor of 6 bovates was held TRE by Stengrim and Agemund. Other Lincolnshire entries which have two personal names as TRE owners are usually annotated in DB to show that there were two manors, but here there is evidence that Stengrim and Agemund had a tenurial relationship, each with an interest in the whole 6 bovates. Stengrim otherwise occurs only as holding 12 bovates at Willingham by Stow (Lincs. 12:3) and in an entry among the Claims in Lindsey (Lincs. CW:10), which reports without explanation that the shire testified in 1086 that Stengrim’s land of 18 bovates had been forfeited. Since there are only two substantive entries for land belonging to Stengrim, the 18 bovates in question must correspond to the 12 bovates attributed to Stengrim alone at Willingham and the 6 bovates attributed to Stengrim and Agemund at Waddingham and Stainton. That, however, leaves Agemund without a holding at Waddingham and Stainton unless he was either Stengrim’s tenant or his lord. Lordship seems much the more likely, given Agemund’s known status and landed interests.

The fifteen vills where Agemund owned land in 1066, and the seven further vills where there was soke attached to one or other of his manors, were scattered across much of northern Lindsey, from Lincoln north along the limestone belt towards the Trent valley, and east across the clay vale of Lindsey and the wolds as far as the siltlands bordering the North Sea. What is more remarkable is their size: the only large holding was Redbourne, where 7 carucates 1 bovate was divided into three manors between Agemund and two of his (presumed) brothers, in proportions which are unknowable. Otherwise, about half of Agemund’s manors were assessed between 1 and 3 carucates, the other half at less than 1 carucate apiece. That would make an unusual configuration for the estates of a typical thegn with around 20 carucates of land, which underlines the point that Agemund was not a typical thegn, but rather a wealthy townsman with rural interests.

The character of Agemund’s landed estate in 1066 can be further illuminated. Another reference to him in the Lincolnshire Claims recorded the judgement of the wapentake that a mill in Tathwell hundred ‘which was Agemund’s, and after him Lambert and his son Jocelin’ ought rather to belong to Robert the bursar (Lincs. CS:3). It does indeed appear to be one of the two mills recorded in 1086 on Robert’s manor of Tathwell, a manor held TRE not by Agemund but by Siward (Lincs. 38:12). Agemund had no land in Tathwell or any adjacent vill. The mill was an outlier, very unusual in being owned separately from the manor in which it evidently stood. It was also relatively valuable, since the two mills on Robert’s small 1-carucate manor were worth 14s. in 1086, whereas the much larger (5-carucate) manor in the same vill had a single mill worth only 16d. (Lincs. 13:28). The unusual circumstances of the mill at Tathwell hint that Agemund may have acquired it as an investment.

Secondly, Agemund’s father Walraven, although in office as a lawman in 1066, then had only two small rural manors, both at Canwick, in marked contrast with Agemund’s much larger spread of rural property. There is no particular reason to think that any of Agemund’s manors had ever belonged to Walraven, and it may be correct to conclude that Agemund himself had been building up a portfolio of rural properties from the profits of his urban activities.

Some Lincolnshire manors which appear under the name of Agemund have been assigned to persons other than Agemund son of Walraven. Pickworth and its soke at Braceby were in a different part of the shire and belonged as two manors to Swein and Agemund (Agemund 8). They passed after the Conquest to the bishop of Durham and were held from him by Jocelin ‘the bishop’s man’ (Lincs. 3:33–34). It is conceivable that the bishop’s man was identical with Jocelin fitzLambert, though a telling point against their identification is made by the fact that fitzLambert appears with that his byname elsewhere in the bishop’s Domesday return (Lincs. 3:4).

Agemund 9, Agemund 10, and Agemund 11 can all be more clearly distinguished from Agemund son of Walraven.

Bibliography

    

Hill 1948: J. W. F. Hill, Medieval Lincoln (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948)

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